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Hot Topics & Readers’ Notes 03-21-12

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Linked List of More Than 200 Top US Pain Specialists

This linked list published by US News & World Report is based on a national peer nomination process (“Top Pain Management Specialists”). Stars indicate those who have been nationally recognized in the America’s Top Doctors list (top 1% in their specialties). You can browse the list or search by zip code, city or state.


New Imaging Allows First-Time Observation of GI Immune Cells in Action

Re: “Researchers identify unexpected player in intestinal immunity”

In a healthy gut lining, the cells they observed “chaperone” potential food antigens through the gut’s mucus barrier and introduce them to the gut’s immune cells on the other side in such a way as to induce recognition and tolerance of ‘harmless antigens’ vs infectious agents – so that the immune cells won’t trigger an immune attack (an “allergic” or inflammatory reaction). The researchers now ask, what makes this system break down? For example, are these goblet cells delivering antigens to the wrong place, not at all, or to much, or what?


Reserve Judgement on XMRV, Dr. Friedman Video Urges

“XMRV: 2012 and Beyond” is a new Video produced by ME-CFS Community and featuring by Dr. Kenneth J Friedman (http://vimeo.com/36908897). He explains why it’s best for the community to let the science play out, and reserve judgment one way or the other until it does.


Info on Ampligen Therapy Locations, Questions

This information was kindly posted on the Hunter Hopkins Center Facebook page: “Ampligen is available at Hunter Hopkins Center and a couple other specialist clinics in the US that treat ME/CFS patients. All treatments with Ampligen are currently on a patient pays program. You can contact our office (704-543-9692) and ask for Wendy to get all the details.” Also See


Sites That Will Help You Get Involved in Awareness Day

Following are two Facebook pages actively welcoming you to find a way to take part:

• May 12th – International ME/CFS & FM Awareness Day (www.facebook.com//may12th.awareness)

• Global Action! May 12, 2012 NeuroImmune Diseases 20th Anniversary (www.facebook.com/events/310053762368288)


At Least One of the LeRoy ‘Tourettes-like’ Cases is Lyme

As PANDAS specialist Rosario Triffiletti, MD, PhD, noted after testing a group of the LeRoy, NY, ‘Tourettes’ kids, two met the diagnostic criteria for Lyme disease. One of the girls – Lori Brownell, appeared recently on Channel 13 to report she had tested positive and will be treated for Lyme disease. “I was very relieved to hear I have Lyme disease,” she says. “Not happy to have it but relief because I can get treatment and start to get better…” “This is validation,” her mother says. See video & text story on NewsChannel 13’s WNYT.com site (http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S2530227.shtml?cat=300)


New Review of Studies on Cardiac Risks of NSAIDS

Re: “Cardiovascular Risk with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Systematic Review of Population-Based Controlled Observational Studies”

This review in PLoS Medicine of studies involving 2.7 million people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ranks the risk of cardiovascular risk associated with 11 widely used products (not aspirin). Of these, naproxen and low-dose ibuprofen had the more favorable CVD risk profiles, but also represent gastrointestinal risks; and diclofenac had high risk even in low doses, causing the researchers to suggest stronger labeling warnings for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Also, the GI and central nervous system effects of indomethacin (aka Indocid, Indocin) prompted “questioning of its continued clinical use.” Table 3 gives estimated relative risks of cardiovascular events for most-used products, by patient CVD risk category.  A relative risk (RR) of 1.0 would indicate no added risk. So the RR of 1.49 for Rofecoxib in a low-risk population indicates a 49% greater risk of cardiovascular events. Bottom line, all the drugs involve some risk.


Researchers Build Light-Controlled Pain Impulse Inhibitor

“The notion of a pain switch is an alluring idea, but is it realistic? Well, chemists at LMU Munich, in collaboration with colleagues in Berkeley and Bordeaux, have now shown in laboratory experiments that it is possible to inhibit the activity of pain-sensitive neurons using an agent that acts as a photosensitive switch.” The researchers report they’ve successfully tested this use of light that passes through the skin to turn pain impulses off in living animals. To read more, see “An OFF switch for pain.”


Fibro ‘Godfather’ Prof. Muhammad Yunus to Speak at UK Conference, Apr 6-9

There is still time to register for the third annual SouthEast Fibromyalgia Conference and Pamper Weekend, Easter Weekend April 6-9 at the Chichester Park Hotel in West Sussex. The packed line-up of speakers will include such high-profile FM clinicians and researchers as Prof. Muhammad B. Yunus, MD (USA); Kevin P. White, MD, PhD (Canada), author of Breaking Through the Fibro Fog; Basant K Puri, MD, PhD (Imperial College), and on & on. Also plenty of informative workshops, Q&As, and fun activities. For latest details or for a booking form, email Jeanne Hambleton (jeannehambleton@me.com) with CONFERENCE in the subject line, or fibcon2012bookings@gmail.com; or phone Simon at 0780 680 8862. Credit card payment with PAYPAL available. Bookings close March 29.


NY Times’ Jane Brody Reviews Breadth of Vitamin D’s Role in Health: “Reasons Vitamin D May Matter”

Re: “Reasons Vitamin D May Matter”

This article by New York Times consumer health columnist Jane E. Brody reviews the evidence that vitamin D’s role in health extends far beyond avoiding brittle bones, fractures and breaks. The problem so far has been that large “prospective trials” must be completed to provide solid proof. That is, trials that follow a large group of people taking vitamin D over time to see if the odds of their eventually developing certain health problems are less than for the population overall. However, she reviews the evidence we do have that strongly suggests this will be the case.


High and Low Iron Both Can Be Problems for Fibromyalgia Patients

Fibromyalgia & Lyme patient Melissa Kaplan writes about “Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases” on her website www.anapsid.org. In her article “Iron: Too Much or Too Little Can Cause All-Too-Familiar Problems,” she begins, “An article on iron deficiency and overload may seem like a funny one for a newsletter on chronic neuroimmune disorders (CND), but the fact is that both iron deficiency and overload can cause symptoms all to familiar to most of us: fatigue, memory problems, and more.”


Information and Advice for Older Dietary Supplement Users

Re: “Supplements & Middle Age: Do You Have a doctor or Licensed Nutritionist Who Can Advise You?”

This is an excellent article. It should be published in all the newspapers. Everyone should have the opportunity to read it. – M


Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is general and anecdotal and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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